Utricularia floral morphology – a pictorial glossary of terms

Utricularia floral morphology – a pictorial glossary of terms

The structural features of bladderwort flower are described by unfamiliar terminology. This visual guide aims to clarify some of the terms that are often referenced in this website.

Upper and Lower Corolla Lip
Instead of the distinct individual petals of a conventional flower, the blooms of Utricularia comprise a fused structure with two distinct corolla (flower) appendages. The upper appendage is called the upper corolla lip, while the lower appendage is called the lower corolla lip.

The nectary spur is the pointed part on the underside of the flower. It morphs into the lower corolla lip.

The opening of the flower is located between the upper and lower corolla lip. The palate is the part of the lower corolla lip that surrounds this opening. Oftentimes, there are ridges or differently coloured patches.

Bract and Bracteole
Where the pedicel (small stalk attached to the flower) meets the peduncle (main stem), there are small leaf-like structures. When these leaf-life structures are on the peduncle, they are referred to as bracts. When they are on the pedicel, they are called bracteoles.

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